PDP condemns ‘arrest spree’

Srinagar: Claiming that several pro-freedom leaders and youths have been held in the Kashmir Valley in the past few days, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Saturday termed the arrest as “atrocious and undemocratic” and said such methods “deepen the alienation among the people”.
“The latest arrest spree of youths and political leaders is atrocious and undemocratic. Such repressive methods deepen the existing level of alienation among the people,” PDP chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said in a statement here.
Akhtar said the government cannot “silence the genuine voices” of the people, who “are fighting for justice and democratic rights”, by such “barbaric methods”.
“Instead of providing a genuine democratic space to the young people, political opponents and relating with them, the government is resorting to crackdown to stifle the voice of dissent,” he said.
He said, instead of real “hand holding of the youth”, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was “handcuffing and subjecting them to humiliation and inhuman treatment” in police lock-ups and making their lives “miserable”.
“By lodging FIRs against more than 10,000 young people over the last five years, the Chief Minister has played a damaging role in destroying their careers,” Akhtar said.
He said incidents like “2010 summer killings, hanging of Afzal Guru, last year’s Gool, Shopian and Markundal atrocities are painful sagas which have brutally affected the conscience of everyone and the present government cannot absolve itself of the crimes and the war it let loose on the people”.
The PDP leader said it was “ironical” that a minister, who was forced to resign and against whom a molestation case has been lodged, was “roaming free”, while the political opponents are being “pushed into jails”.
“It is obviously the state which has facilitated (former health minister) Shabir Khan’s continued escape from the law, as without the government complicity a person, who is guarded by police 24 hours, could not have avoided arrest,” he said.
Akhtar said it is the beauty of a democratic system to tolerate the voices of dissent, but in Jammu and Kashmir it is “unfortunately opposite” as the ruling National Conference has always been on the forefront to “thwart any move which it seems is challenging to its very existence”.